All credit to YOUR MOM LOVES BREE from Caution. <3
- it has recently been brought to my attention that people are having difficulty coming up with unique, compelling characters who are fun enough to keep role players active and engaged. due to this shocking, unfortunate information, i have taken it upon myself to compile a how-to of sorts. i sincerely hope that the guide that follows will help any and all role players in making interesting, plot-driving characters that will benefit boards everywhere and bored people across the world. obviously, anyone with anything to add is more than welcome to do so.
- a character is, obviously, your ticket to activity on a board. if you don't like your character, then it's going to be obvious, and you won't use it, and so it will get no plots. sure, you think you have a muse for them at first, but, in reality, you were probably just taking a face claim before anyone else could get their hands on them or you were wanting to get used to the forum a bit more or you were wanting to plot with that new character that's super hot but doesn't quite mesh with yours... am i right? well, i may not be - but still. for whatever reason, don't just make new characters all the time.
characters are supposed to be representations of people- real people. with intricate feelings and passions and conflicts that go on deep beneath the surface... or maybe not-so-deep. the goal of making a character is to make people believe the character, and to have fun doing it. be it a chipped-shoulder chimney smoker bitch with a tongue sharper than her mind or a used-to-be-nice-boy who got ruined by hollywood and has become jaded since or even a dumb-as-dirt girl who is genuinely naive and good-hearted, every character has their story. in order to successfully compile their past chapters and begin writing the new ones, you'll need to get into your character's head. for this reason, i will always advocate application sites for new role players. advanced role players have more experience in forming well-rounded characters (usually), and so coming up with something is a bit easier. still, if you're unsure as to the character you want to create, you just know you wanna roleplay, look for an application site. they help, i swear.
character's shouldn't get along with everybody- even the nicest characters should come in contact with people who rub them the wrong way (it's okay for there to be no logical reason for it! haven't you ever just been annoyed by someone for no real reason at all?). they shouldn't be made up of 'look at me!' characteristics (though giving your character a few of these traits will make them a bit more fun- and it's okay... just don't take it to sue standards, kthx). characters should have thoughts on just about anyone they meet, and they should have a past that you've got pretty solidified in your mind. it doesn't have to be intricate and dramatic- but you need to know it. it's easier to plot if you do, and we all love plotting, don't we?
so the point of this? basically, think original and compelling- think deep and lifelike- and think fun! if you think it, you'll have it![/size]
- i will refer to you the holy book that is urban dictionary in regards to mary sues: DO NOT MAKE THESE CHARACTERS OR CHUCK NORRIS WILL SWIFTLY EJECT YOU FROM THE INTERNET DO NOT THINK I AM JOKING, BECAUSE I AM NOT. oh, and, contrary to popular belief, clumsiness is not a viable flaw. it's just not. there is nothing taken away from your character's appeal because they can't walk straight. if anything, it makes them cuter. however, do not be fooled. as the almighty book says, too many flaws can equal a mary sue, too. just watch out. anything that makes your character scream 'give me and my author some attention pleaaaaaaase!' is dangerous. unless you're purposely making a brat character. still, though. being a brat is a flaw. so go with that.
- NAMES AND PLAY BYS
a lot- and i mean a LOT, A LOT can be said about a character based on their choice in name and play by. heck, a lot can be said about the role player behind the character based on those things, too. generally speaking, you don't meet many people named PRINCESS SOLILOQUY MOONBEAM, so if you're planning on naming your character that, you'd BEST have a reason for it, and if their play by has magical mystical eyes that you've photoshopped rainbow? you'd better be on a magical forum. one that allows mary sues, apparently. but, well, we all love some quirky names, right? generally, a good way to avoid the dreaded 'ugh, another princess soliloquy moonbeam has joined' reaction is to balance it out with regular, joe shmoe names. ultra extreme names (take soliloquy) should be given two painfully dull regular names- such as soliloquy jane smith. sort of questionable names- that aren't TOO out there- can afford to have quirky middle or last names. but, at the same time, unless you're going for a 'dull as dirt' attribute, you're not gonna wanna name your character 'jane sarah doe' or anything so mild like that. play bys? ... well. i'll guess i'll be blunt here: a lot of people (typically on no-application sites) will judge a member based on their choice in play by. so choose your play by carefully. i won't go into all the different things it pertains to- just think before picking. oh, and make sure your chosen play by looks the right age, PLEASE.
- SHIPPERS ?
when it comes to character making, less is not more. as nice as it is to have a plot page that's, like, one line, that's not going to take you anywhere interesting. try to give as much details about your character as possible in your shipper- but remember, there is no such thing as sexy rambling. so don't go on for ages about how amused your character is by cheese or how ~random they are. just give the quick basics. if your character is really deep, then don't be afraid to have a shipper that's a bit longer than most. especially if your character is, in any obvious way, shaped by his or her past. don't be solely focused on loveships, either. ask for it all- and offering your character up to cousins and childhood friends/enemies is always good, but we'll get to that later.
don't sit around and wait for other people to plot with you. if you're new, you're probably joining with a slew of other people or while many members are offline, so you need to put yourself out there to be seen when the other members get back on or through the haze of 'new member' ecstasy. the best thing i can say about plotting? give your character a past of sorts with as many characters as you can. too often i see people overlook the 'childhood friends' or 'childhood enemies' sort of plot- and that's so much fun that it makes me sad to see it ignored! and, really, if it doesn't change anything about your character's story, would it hurt to let other members be cousins or distant relatives? probably not, so don't be closed off to that. remember that relationships can change, too. and not just from enemies to friends. friends can have falling-outs and fits can be amended. don't box your character in with ANYONE. let them kind of live and grow themselves. oh, and, something that i never see anymore- why not ask in your shipper for someone to be a current boyfriend/girlfriend? i'm not talking about a character request- ask for a current character. it's a good way to come up with great plots, and, as a bonus, you can do love threads even earlier on (and we all know we love that shiz <3).
ugh. this is a pet peeve of mine. why are so many characters just average joes?! i mean, honestly. (obviously hollywood boards are exempt of this, but still). you think celebrities don't go on cruises from time to time? that celebrities don't spend time in the city? or that movie shoots can't go on in a small town? well, if you think that, you're wrong. characters that are famous should probably show up more frequently. am i saying you need to overrun a small town site with hollywood brats? no. i'm saying that if one or two are there for a reason (that is very important, mind you- give them a reason to be there. i don't care what it is, but they need to have it.) then it's going to give people more things to plot with them about. as a general rule, the more interesting your character is, the more people want to plot with them. unfortunately, this results in people actually plotting with emo!sues named apple willow berry and that just should not happen.
DO YOUR RESEARCH !
okay, so you've got an idea for something really awesome- but, for whatever reason- you don't know the ins and outs of these characteristics? look them up! for the love of all that is holy, please look them up! caution and google each offer a plethora of information and guides for portraying characters with psychological diseases, medical problems, and, well, just quirks. so please, do everyone a favor and figure out what you're talking about.
STAY IN CHARACTER !
people like your character the way you make them, but, at the same time, people may NOT like your character. you gotta take the bad with the good sometimes. please, do not get flip-floppy with your character to try and win over mean characters or their rpers. it's aggravating, and no one worth winning over will actually be won over. you'll get more respect if you stand by your character- trust me on that. so be true to him or her, and don't get flippy floppy! it's easier to stay in character if you KNOW your character, so, again, be sure to get in his/her head!